The Koenigsegg Regera is perhaps more beautiful as an object than as a technical showcase that also happens to be a series production car, albeit a very short series of just 40 units, all of which have been sold over a year ago. Its novel hydraulic coupling single-speed transmission, hybrid powertrain, and kinetic energy recovery system notwithstanding, it might just be the most elegant machine to emerge from the Swedish company.
The lightweight fully carbon fibre body isn’t a new material for Koenigsegg, who have been fashioning car bodies from large custom moulds for more than a decade. But with this particular Regera, they have taken it a few steps further with something called KNC, or Koenigsegg Naked Carbon.
Even in photographs, this thing is stunning to behold, lending the Regera a depth of purpose and aesthetic menace isn’t replicable anywhere else. That’s because this car was made with a newly perfected finishing method that does not even require a glossy clear coat that other exotic automakers apply on their 'bare' carbon bodied cars.
In other examples of carbon fibre cars, panels are typically either sanded down and painted or sport a polished clear epoxy outer layer. To save weight, cars that use these two methods on outward facing surfaces would typically have under-the-hood and interior parts delicately polished and sanded to its raw carbon state.
This last method is reserved for smaller volume segments of exposed carbon due to it being extremely labour intensive and the extremely fine margin of error. And should the process not be exacting, it can lead to ruined threads of exposed carbon fibre and therefore a scrapped panel. For these reasons, automakers have traditionally avoided this finishing method for the exterior.
But that is precisely what Koenigsegg have done for this Regera and its KNC treatment. However, before proceeding with the finish, each panel must be far more carefully inspected for even micron-level imperfections as they cannot be smoothened, adjusted, or compensated for later. Samples of the specific formulation prior to moulding, various carbon test panels were exposed to scorching sun, freezing winters, and extreme moisture and humidity to ensure their durability against the elements.
The result is not only totally unique as no other car has an exterior with this much authentic carbon fibre in both look and feel, with light reflecting off each strand in the weave instead of a uniform layer of epoxy or coating, but it shaves around 20kg due to the lack of paint or lacquer.
Another benefit is that bare carbon of this sort is actually a much softer surface to one with a hardened layer of clear coat and/or paint, making it less susceptible to damage or scratches from stones or other small objects than conventional surface treatments.
Founder and CEO Christian von Koenigsegg, said of the new KNC finish: “It’s not unusual for a customer to specify their car with visible carbon fibre. It’s a beautiful material from a visual perspective and our customers love to show what the car is made from,”
“KNC takes the idea of visible carbon fibre to a whole new level, revealing a beautiful lustre and a very silky finish. The Koenigsegg philosophy has always been about exploring extremes. It’s great to extend that idea to a whole new way of finishing and presenting a car.”